City faces more delay in Courcelle building takeover
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | April 22,2013
The city still doesn’t have the Courcelle building.
Almost a month after paperwork arrived that would have given the city “constructive possession” of the building, Mayor Christopher Louras has not signed the paperwork because the city cannot get the keys.
“Let’s just say the feds were unwilling to provide the keys without some last-minute paperwork and we didn’t want to take possession without access,” Louras said.
The city has been promised the building since the military began preparations to close it in favor of the new reserve center off Post Road. The forms that arrived in the city March 26 would have, as soon as the mayor signed them, given Rutland responsibility for the building, with full and formal ownership to follow some time later.
The decommissioning and turnover process, which has been in motion at least since the summer of 2011, involves approvals first from the Army and then from the National Parks Service. Louras said the Army official responsible for the building had not been told that the Parks Service was through with their portion of the process and needed to cancel a number of contracts regarding the building.
Gary Puryear, a base decommissioning specialist for the Army who has been working with the city, could not be reached for comment.
The city intends to use the building as an administrative and maintenance facility for the recreation department, with some programming likely located there as well.
The administrative function of the recreation department has been crammed into the Godnick Adult Center — the superintendent’s office is literally in a converted closet — since the Dana Building was closed due to fire code issues in June 2011.
“It’s been frustrating,” Louras said. “I thought we would be able to start moving our folks out of Godnick, giving Godnick back to the seniors, who deserve that facility.”